Christmas Lessons 2015

Each year at the beginning of the Christmas season I think about what will make this Christmas memorable or different or whatever else. This last year has been an adjustment to three kids and I feel that this Christmas was busier and crazier than normal trying to accomplish the never ending to-do list. But as Christmas has now come and gone I have thought about a couple of things I’ve learned from this Christmas season that I wanted to write down, even if I’m the only one who reads it.

I often think of this quote from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, “For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” Two experiences made this particularly poignant to me this year.

#1 Earlier this fall when doing some testing for my oldest he was asked what he would wish for if he was given three wishes. The doctor told my husband and me that he had asked our son this and asked us to guess what the answers were. Now I start asking my kids early what they want for Christmas and they are quite creative making up toys that don’t exist so I figured it was something like that. I was shocked when the doctor told us that our son had wished for his own house and family of his own (when he is older) and to be kind.

#2 I got the chance to take my boys shopping to buy a present for each other. We decided last year this would be a good chance/lesson for them to use their own money to buy something for each other. I first shopped with the oldest and we counted his money while at Target so he knew how much he had. He was ready to spend ALL his money on something awesome for his little brother. It was quite sweet. I then shopped with my youngest son and went through the same thing of counting his money at the store. And just like his brother, he was ready to spend ALL his money on a cool present for his brother. It was wonderful to see this moment twice separate from each other how both of my boys wanted to give all they had to their brother. That same brother that they fight with most of the day long and leg tackle and yell at and punch, etc.

These two made me realize I need to focus my priorities and see things more simply. My boys are such wonderful examples to me. I hope all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you a Happy New Year!


Babies Don't Keep

I have been thinking about my children and what I can do to teach them and help them a lot the last few days. I was even thinking about writing a blog post about it also. I went to church today and was able to attend Relief Society. The lesson just happened to be on families and parenthood. It was just what I needed. I recently (probably the last month or two) read an article about a mother struggling to care for her newborn. I could really relate, it can be so straining to care for a newborn and then add other children and responsibilities. Some things don't get done each day but the baby has needs that HAVE to be taken care of. There is no saying, "I'll get to it later" or "When I have more time . . " What I gained from the article was that this woman changed her perspective to that of caring for her baby was her job, that was her primary goal to accomplish day in and day out. She found that she got more joy out of her "job" when she thought of it that way.

My thoughts started this week when I was frustrated at the condition of my home. It was a disaster, you know tornado type disaster. The things I had accomplished that day were take my kids to swimming lessons, vacuum the family room, clean the toilets, make dinner, and watched my two nieces. We had a great time with them playing, my kids love their cousins. It sounds like a lot and actually is I guess but I was frustrated when I looked around and my house was still a mess. What did I expect when the whole house wasn't vacuumed, just one room. The bathrooms weren't clean, just the toilets. I then remembered a little poem my mom had hanging up when I was a child.
"The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, 
For children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."
Baby #1 about 4 months old
Baby #2 about 5 months old
Baby #3 - 5 months old
My 3 babies a month ago
It is true that babies don't keep, look at them! I was about in tears when I thought of that little poem. Am I missing the point? My job is to be a mother! I need to wake up. So that night I went into their rooms and looked at them and kissed them goodnight (again). They were so sweet and peaceful just sleeping.

I often use #IAmAMother when I post things because it explains so much. Kids are crazy and our days hardly go as I plan in my mind and that is ok. I started thinking how I want my kids to remember their mother. It is a big job but I hope each day will be better and we learn from each other. I'm not perfect, far from it! I just hope to keep trying and being able to learn and play with my little ones.

One quote I loved from today's lesson was, "Do you know why righteous mothers love their children so much? Because they sacrifice so much for them. We love what we sacrifice for and we sacrifice for what we love." My own mother told me this same thing several years ago and more and more I understand not only what she was saying but what she did for her family.


Easter Thoughts

I know Easter was over a week ago but is it ever too late to post a message about Jesus? I think not. I just wanted to write down a couple of thoughts I had leading up to Easter that were started with a short and frustrating story. About two weeks before Easter we were cleaning up the kitchen after dinner and asked the boys to clean up the living room to get ready for Family Home Evening (FHE). The usual whining and complaining ensued. However; the Silly One, for whatever reason, decided to throw a plastic dinosaur at the Small One and hit him right in the face. Now this wasn't done from across the room, he was a couple of feet from him. This also wasn't done with one of those little plastic dinosaurs, it was of those those about 6" or so. I was immediately so frustrated and could not comprehend the logic that caused this action.

The FHE lesson I planned was no longer going to happen as consequences were such that the Silly One was going to bed ASAP. They both got ready for bed and I remembered the Bible story picture books we have so I pulled out the Easter Story one.

We read it quickly and at the end I was struck by something so simple. After the Savior has been resurrected he appears to his disciples and in the book he said, "Go and tell the world what God has taught us: if we do bad things, we should be sorry. If other people do bad things, we should forgive them." We finished the book and had family prayer, the Silly One said sorry and the Small One forgave him. It was amazing to me what a profound lesson came from such a mess. None of our lives are perfect and not one of us is perfect, but because Jesus dies and rose on the third day we have hope for tomorrow. Hope to be better and become better. Peace through forgiveness because of His atonement. I know He lives!


A little Busy

We've been a little busy around here as this little sweet pea joined our family over 7 weeks ago!
We love this baby sister!
Can you tell some boys just love being big brothers?
We love our little family of 5!


Christmas Neighbor Gift - simmer pot mix

I like to do a little something for my neighbors each year at Christmas. This year I have several neighbors that have food intolerances or allergies. I found this idea on pinterest and was so excited to try it out this year. I did modify it a little, perhaps my sensitive/pregnant nose just couldn't handle the spice overload that was happening while I put them together. So here is my version:

1 dried orange slice
1 dried lemon slice
3 dried apple slices
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tbls. nutmeg
2 tbls. whole cloves
1 tsp. whole allspice
A pinch of bay leaf pieces

It came together quite easily once I had the fruit dried. And that wasn't hard either because I borrowed my mom's food dehydrator. I sliced the fruit in the morning and let it dry all day. Here are the instructions on the back.